Man with suspected dengue fever sitting on a bed at Dhaka Medical Hospital

Adrienne Surprenant / Agence MYOP, Wellcome

Licence: All Rights Reserved

Sohid is admitted at the Dhaka Medical Hospital, as the doctors suspect he has dengue.

Dengue Fever – Falling Between the Cracks

Dengue fever is one of the most deadly and prevalent mosquito-borne diseases – around half of the world’s population are now at risk of infection by the dengue virus. In the Wellcome Photography Prize 2019 Commission, which explores the theme of outbreaks, Adrienne Surprenant tells the human story of this disease.

Adrienne, a Canadian photojournalist, was the Wellcome Photography Prize Fellow 2019. The visual story for her commission, 'Dengue Fever – Falling Between the Cracks', focuses on parts of the world where dengue is common. She captures the devastating human consequences for families and communities already affected or at risk of infection from this deadly disease.

Her pictures also explore the logistical challenges of managing the spread of disease and the attempts being made to tackle it in Bangladesh, Fiji, Brazil and Réunion island in the Indian Ocean.


Climate change is affecting the prevalence of dengue in Dhaka, one of the world’s densest cities.


Tourism can breathe life into remote nations but can also bring problems when travellers accidentally transport dengue-carrying mosquitoes from neighbouring islands.


Zika may be a diminishing threat in Brazil, but the impact on community trust in health services, crucial for preventing and treating dengue, is still being felt.


A public health programme to combat dengue on an Indian Ocean territory could have implications for mainland Europe.

About the commission 

Each year the Wellcome Photography Prize Commission focuses on a new health challenge.

Adrienne is a Canadian photojournalist documenting social and environmental issues. Currently based in the Central African Republic, she has covered stories in Central America, Central Africa and the Middle East. Adrienne is a member of the Collectif Item, which takes on long-term projects that document our world.